Trans-Tasman rivalry to fire in Surfers
The Australia Gold Coast streets are set to ignite with Trans-Tasman rivalry during the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 18-21, with confirmation New Zealand driver Matt Halliday (right) will drive for Conquest Racing in the Australian Champ Car World Series event.
Team Australia’s Will Power has already proved himself at home in the International field after capturing an elusive pole position during last year’s event and it’s now up to Halliday to take up the challenge to win support during the closest thing to a home event for the 27 year-old Kiwi.
With valuable backing from New Zealand Vodka company 42 Below, Halliday has already gained an appreciation for the International open wheelers after fulfilling an initial three-race contract during 2007.
That baptism of fire is sure to hold him well as he now aims to make his mark during the final five rounds of the Champ Car World Series, which includes Queensland’s crown jewel event on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
Halliday joins the ranks of fellow New Zealand driver, Brisbane born Scott Dixon who represented his homeland on the Gold Coast at the 2001 and 2002 events following Championship success in the Indy Lights Series in 2000.
Halliday’s inclusion in the starters list for the 17th running of the Lexmark Indy 300 on October 18-21 is sure to entice many parochial Kiwi fans to the Gold Coast for the annual four day/four night extravaganza.
Meantime, Power has had a deflating tire rob him of a chance of a second Champ Car victory for the season in the recently completed Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland in Ohio.
Australian ace Power had victory slip from his grasp when he suffered a flat tire as a result of a broken tire valve on lap 75 in the 89-lap event.
The 26 year-old recovered to finish in 10th position, but this result did not reflect the exciting race the young driver from Toowoomba, Queensland had driven.
Power now drops to third in the Champ Car World Series standings behind former Formula 1 test driver Robert Doornbos, but has closed the gap to series leader Sebastien Bourdais.